The first week of October is Mental Illness Awareness week in Canada. I would like to dispel two of the myths of mental illness that are frequently mentioned -- that schizophrenia is not a disease and that medications make schizophrenia worse and/or are not needed. Proper treatment for people with serious mental illnesses can do wonders and it is cruel to deny that these illnesses exist.
In Robert Whitaker's book, The Anatomy of an Epidemic, his main conclusion is that antipsychotic medications are bad. He argues that the outcomes for schizophrenia recovery rates have worsened with the introduction of medication. But a very recent study done by the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, just concluded that the benefit of these drugs has been proven.
A mentally ill young woman, who thrived on medication and crumbled without, lobbied to be removed from mandatory treatment -- she didn't like being medicated. Her parents were very surprised when they learned that, after a year of stability, her community mental health team had decided, without consulting them, to release their daughter from mandatory treatment.